Microsoft retreats on Edge recommendation when installing Chrome and Firefox

Following a rush of negative feedback, Microsoft appears to be reversing a controversial test that it was conducting to promote Microsoft Edge on Windows 10.

As we reported last week, Microsoft first began testing a new screen in a Windows Insider build for the upcoming October 2018 Update that would promote Microsoft Edge when users attempted to install third-party browsers like Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. Once you began running an installer for another browser, Windows 10 would present a popup that billed Microsoft Edge as the "faster, safer browser designed for Windows."

While the popup wouldn't prevent you from installing the browser of your choice—options in the popup let you open Microsoft Edge or "install anyway—it was seen as a step over the proverbial red line for many.

With the latest Windows Insider Fast ring build (17760), however, Microsoft appears to have pulled back on the test. The popup is no longer present when attempting to install another browser, serving as a sign that the company is acutely aware of the backlash (via CNET).

It's clear that Microsoft is trying to onboard as many users as it can with Edge as it seeks to curry back some of the browser share it has lost to alternatives like Chrome and Firefox. However, once someone has made the decision to download another browser, it's likely they've already made the decision to forego Edge, making the popup more of an annoyance than anything.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl

  • Opinions matter...especially bad press. That's what the Windows Insider testing is about.
  • But sites like WC try to whitewash everything Microsoft does. They would even write a puff piece explaining why bloatwares are the best thing to ever happen to Windows. Windows 10 would have been in a better state if this site didn't try to make people get used to the low quality software.
  • Everything MS does these days, since Nadella took over, would be better if the fanboys would not praise every crap or half baked stuff MS delivers.
  • I don't really see the problem with the popup but I do feel the "Don't want to be warned in the future? Open setting >" line could have been reworded as this isn't really a warning more a recommendation.
  • You don't see the issue with ads directly in the interface of an expensive desktop operating system? If Windows 10 was free, it wouldn't be a big deal, but it isn't. Windows 10 is fairly expensive and then it starts throwing ads at you directly!
  • How is this an Ad??
    An Ad tells you to buy or use something you don't have.
    But in this case, you already have the browser (Edge) and this is just a heads-up telling you that you already have a good alternative.
    It's just inviting people to try the new Edge and maybe that's because of the bad reputation Internet Explorer had in the past.
    Moreover, if you don't like the message, you can turn it off in settings with the flick of a switch.
    So, where's the problem??
  • It is an advertisement for Edge. Plain and simple. Same as all the other advertisements that have been added to Windows 10.
  • Recommendation or rather a suggestion, not advertisement.
  • Same thing.
  • Yes, it is.
  • So what, Chrome does that too. Whenever I open google, youtube or anything that belongs to Google, it asks if I'd like to use Chrome... so what's wrong with MS doing so?
  • I also find that super annoying and use bing whenever I see that message from Google.
  • Chrome is a free app and the ads you are talking about are on a website, not built into Chrome. I am sure you can see the difference between ads on a free website and ads built into the interface of an expensive desktop operating system.
  • You've lost the argument if your only defense is whataboutism.
  • Exactly. These low IQ people give them the audacity to throw such features™.
  • Microsoft does the same when you use any of its services on Chrome but that doesn't make it right.
  • I know some people do not see the problem as it will only be a one time thing normally, unless you are one of these people who does a clean install every few months, but what was to stop Ms using it for other software?
    I install a music player and up pops a message, Groove is better and you can do this with it, or say we install something like Gimp and up pop, paint 3D is better you can do stuff in 3D. I do not believe that MS changed the code just for Edge. Glad MS seen some sense for once.
  • But don't forget that you can turn off all these popups just one time from settings and you won't see them again.
  • They knew that this is controversial and will cause bad press , what did they expect ?
  • No they didn't. They're not that smart.
  • LOL, that is funny
  • They are too dumb to to realize such things from the start...only when it hits'em, they see how bad the move was.
  • Google does the exact same thing on my android phone when I try to open Edge after an update...
  • No, they don't, at least not with stock Android.
  • I saw same thing once as well and I do have stock Android. Not sure what triggers it. Maybe setting default link app setting.
  • I have Dolphin on my phone and have had no messages and that was using a Nexus 4 and my Huawie and I have not heard anyone else saying about it.
  • What Microsoft should be doing is to implement Edge as a separate update on Windows 7, since TLS 1.2 is more than 10 years old, Firefox and Chrome already support TLS 1.3 and many enterprise users are still on Windows 7 and Internet Explorer 11 is unlikely to start supporting TLS 1.3
  • They already have it as a separate update - its bundled into the Windows 10 update ;)
  • Windows 7 goes EOL on Jan 2020. Don't see the point. Edge is a UWP app. Windows 7 does not support UWP.
  • @v_2samg. A UWP app that gets updated via Windows update and not via the store app. So I agree with Gabriel Hernandesz5, they should have Edge available for Windows 7. It would dramatically increase the user base for Edge.
  • What makes you think the remaining users on Win7, that refuse to downgrade to wincrap 10 will ever use Edge?
  • EOL unless you want to pay a subscription fee.
  • Good. I don't understand how they ever thought this was a good decision.
  • Meh, they should have just stuck with it since they've already done it. Not like anyone's going to drop Windows because of it. Now they have the worst of both worlds.
  • I honestly don't think it is that bad. I think it sounds worse on paper than in real life experience. I know people say it's not the exact same as Google telling you to download Chrome if you go to Google search engine, but functionally it is the exact same. At least it goes away after you install another browser, whereas if you go to Google on another browser it always keeps popping up. I think most people are overreacting to this.
  • If I go to Microsoft on other browsers, Edge prompt keeps popping up. That doesn't make it right.
  • Why is this so horrible, but no one seems to care about all the times Google pushes Chrome "for the best experience"?
  • An ad on a free website is much different than an ad in an expensive desktop operating system.
  • At least it's a one time annoyance, while in youtube and google .com web sites you are constantly asked to install 'better' Chrome when you use Edge. I don't see any option at Google to disable those banners. It doesn't even go away when you reload the page.
  • Yeah a 'free' website with a near monopoly on search - pretty much the gateway to the internet. This is no different from Google pushing Chrome on me every single time I go to google.c om
  • Yes there is. Google is free and is a website. Huge difference. You are paying Microsoft to serve you ads. There are literally ads built right into the interface of their expensive desktop operating system. Ads directly in explorer! Ads on the lock screen! Ads in the system tray! Ads in the start menu and even popups like this Edge ad! How can you be ok with all that? It is exactly what Windows people criticize Google doesn't, and they don't even do that with Android!
  • Not sure what Windows version you are using But I certainly do not have adds in explorer neither on the lock screen, nor in the system tray.... And no Windows is not expensive imho. You hardly see the W10 price as it's embedded in the new pc/laptop/tablet you buy or it's cheap because it emerges from upgrades from previous versions. I pay 99€ /year for my 6 (as of October 2018) +6 +6 devices (laptops, smartphones, tablets) for Office 365 and 50€ / month for Adobe CC, so W10 is cheap, trust me. Regarding the Google evil empire: it's a choice you do not need Google. Bing is OK, YouTube is not needed (there are alternatives). With Google and Android, you and your data are the product. Talking about pathetic, that's pathetic. And I do not even talk about their relentless steeling of intellectual property of artists, press etc. John Dvorak was right in his August 15 column FB, Twitter, YouTube are de-facto Publishers, but they call themselves platforms to overcome legal issues and to make money out of somebody elses work. The moment they are legally forced to become publishers (as they are) their business model is finished.
  • Yes there is huge difference, but you cannot see it because it burrrnnns you that people do not care about those Google ads, but they did about MS pathetic attempt. Fanboy attitude...I could give a damn about ads on a website: Adblock, but for sure I would not agree with the thing MS did.
  • At least they're listening.
  • Let's see:
    Chrome users = 69%
    Edge users = 4%
    Not much competition there!
  • What's your point?
    All other car users: 99.999955%
    Bugatti Veyron users: 0.000045% I'd still go for the Bugatti..... despite not much competition there!
    and yes Edge is the Bugatti.
  • The only metaphor between Edge and Bugatti is that Bugatti waste a lot of fuel --> and makes the unusable Windows 10 even worst.
  • Right on point.
  • enjoy your chrome bicycle. I go for the real stuff not the Mickey Mouse spy browser made by the evil empire that excels in stealing personal data
  • Typical out of proportion outrage fanned by the tech press. I am waiting to see all the condemnation about "ads" and "harming freedom of choice" by the constant banners I see on You Tube urging me to install Chrome. I know I'll be waiting a long time.
  • Hate towards MS is just one-sided. No matter how Google pushes Chrome on or, it's okay, but MS does anything on Windows and the sky is suddenly falling...
  • We are just paranoid. XD
  • With google everyone should be, after all they have made it plan as day that they want your DNA (so does Amazon).
  • Your comment should be on top and on every tech press comments section, because most people are blind.🙄
  • Keep waiting. You're not gonna see much hype over that because it is a WEBSITE. MS did this on their OS, in their OS, among other PATHETIC ADS.
  • Why is every defense just a deflection towards Google's practices? That's called whataboutism.
  • Microsoft was full of themselves for releasing Edge exclusively for 10 when IE had 70%+ share. Now they cry after most people switched away out of necessity or preference. IE still has ~3 times more market share than Edge even though both aren't significant today.
  • It's only bad if Microsoft does it. But those prompts to install Chrome whenever you open a Google site in Edge, those are ok. Microsoft should just do what Google does and force Edge only/require all third party browsers to use the Edge engine.
  • :)) How delusional can you be to think MS is in any position to force something like that? They cannot force anything like that because anyone can install any browser, because those are legacy apps! not store apps. Think twice before making stupid comments.
  • Personally I'm like F your browsers and I hate that Google commercial a lot...
  • MS retreating in the consumer space, how unusual !
  • Wow! Someone from that incompetent horde realized how pathetic that move was and decided to roll back :))) I am quite amazed they managed to actually think.
  • In my opinion, Microsoft has several years doing a lot of great stuff, but they remain out of touch with the majority of its users. For instance, I love the start menu implementation, and I have gotten used to having an absolutely clean desktop, by using the Start Menu fully with several groups of icons organized by type, resized in a way that i can access everything very quickly and the list is hidden unless I summon it. But about 95% of friends and family I've helped with their machines NEVER use the menu the way it was supposed to... They still keep sample shortcuts for candy crush and other crapware, and never add or remove anything, people simply ignore that part of the interface, and resort to using the list (like it was on XP, 7). Microsoft needs to be either more aggressive with their intentions or promote themselves better to actually appeal people to use those features...
    But the problem is that regular people never get excited over windows announcements the way Apple users do for their releases... Windows is a tool that the majority of is users never bother to learn how to use properly or more efficiently and get stuck in the ways of the past. I actually use Edge for when I use my Surface Book in tablet mode, because it is simply awesome for touch and buttery smooth, unlike chrome which feels laggy and unresponsive.... However I, as most people, have everything linked to my Google account since it is very seamless with a properly configured Android. So Chrome is a must for almost everything I do. And most people are already invested in Chrome as an ecosystem, not as a browser, that is also true for most of apple users I know. Microsoft needs to keep adding features to Edge that are not easily found on other browsers without extensions.... Like their ebook reader mode and such... They need to make it a powerful tool to use alongside the competition, instead of trying to win over users that will definitely not jumping back
  • Microsoft has become a company willing to go bold and try and steer users into using all of their products. Its a attempt at creating a closed ecosystem where even if you choose a third app its only going to be through their app store. Windows 10S is that sort of attempt to restrict users and make Windows much less of a run anything from anywhere OS. They seem to forget that most Windows users still use Windows exactly for that reason because almost every software title will have a Windows version. Yeah you want us to use Edge make it worthwhile to use like every other application out there. We use them because we want too.
  • Warning your computer will explode 😄
  • Nothing against Edge but I want to be able to use and install what software I want in Windows without any sort of nagging about what I am installing. Obviously if I am installing another browser it could be for many reason because many users install multiple browsers on their devices. Interesting that Microsoft jumped to the conclusion that installing another browser meant you were not going to use Edge. Or have they seen the horrible market share numbers and just assume you want to use another browser? In any case Windows is all about running a massive library of software that can run on Windows. If we chose not to use a Microsoft product, that it the users choice not Microsoft's. If Microsoft continues down the path of nag's and annoyances or goes even further preventing installs. That pretty much ends my need to use Windows.
  • I'm am loyal. I've been using Edge since it came out. Yeah, I agree on the warning message, I don't want to see a warning message when installing apps common this is windows, where executables reign.
  • So ridiculous....